ROOTSFEST 2013

Rootsfest: Chuck Prophet and the Mission Express

Friday, August 23, 2013
Forde Nursery

Chuck Prophet shapes his restless career with inimitable subtle flair: a vivid parade of razor-edged one-liners camouflaged in a slack-jawed drawl, songs about heartbreak and everyman heroism, drenched in twisted lines of rude Telecaster.

When the early stages of a financial melt-down coincided with a rare San Francisco heat wave in the summer of 2008, with the window open wide and Dwight Twilley, Iggy, Thin Lizzy and the Knack blaring out the hi-fi, Prophet wrote a collection of political songs for non-political people. Later, in April 2009, he journeyed to Mexico City, where, in the clutches of a Swine Flu panic and earthquakes, he recorded ¡Let Freedom Ring!, his most incendiary record, every bit as urgent as the title demands.

In some parallel dimension Chuck Prophet is a star, though for the real-world fans he’s amassed over the past three decades, beginning with his stint in Green on Red through his well-regarded solo career, he may as well already be one. Certainly Prophet stands as a revered writer’s writer, earning the respect of such peers as Lucinda Williams and Alejandro Escovedo—the latter’s last three records were cowritten with Prophet. One wonders whether Escovedo’s pronounced trips down memory lane partly inspired Prophet’s latest, Temple Beautiful, a tribute to his San Francisco roots that’s populated with figures both familiar and forgotten, from Willie Mays, murdered politician Harvey Milk and legendary stripper Carol Doda to an ode to the colorful characters gathered to watch the annual Castro Street Halloween parades. The music itself combines the provincial street poetry of Lou Reed with roots-riffs and the jangle of power-pop, all propelled with a passion and soul that lifts the project well past its personal scrapbook blueprint. And that’s really the gift of a great storyteller: to make memories public, to make friends out of strangers, to take something specific and transform it into something universal. Or, in the case of the oblique AIDS chronicle “Museum of Broken Hearts,” to turn the tragic, dirty or damaged into something beautiful. – Time Out Chicago

Chuck Prophet’s catalogue is overflowing with insightful character studies, jangle-pop perfection and energetic barroom rockers. And that accounts for just some of the songs he has written, recorded and forgotten. In his 25-plus-year career, the 49-year-old has established himself as a minor god in the roots-rock pantheon — a sharp, prolific singer-songwriter who always seems to have a new batch of tunes ready to go. – Washington Post

Rootsfest: Jeanne Jolly

Friday, August 23, 2013
Forde Nursery

Singer/songwriter Jeanne Jolly broke onto the music scene as the featured vocalist for Grammy Award winning jazz trumpeter Chris Botti. Touring all through North America she had the opportunity to sing with world renowned symphonies and perform at venues like Carnegie Hall and play marquee events such as the Monterey Jazz Festival.

A diverse, classically trained vocalist, Jolly’s voice is said to embody the “early belting power of Linda Ronstadt” (MetroMusicScene, VA) combined “the delicate lilt of Alison Krauss” (NC Metro Magazine). Born in North Carolina, Jolly was the recipient of Western Carolina University’s Young Alumni Award and has earned a Masters in Vocal Performance from New England Conservatory. Upon completing her schooling, Jolly moved to L.A. where her career quickly took off. In addition to working with Botti, she began to explore different styles of music, recording with acclaimed songwriters Lowen & Navarro and country artist Bob Woodruff.

In an age where stardom can be instantaneous, it’s always nice when you are made aware of an artist that has been quietly developing their craft in to something really special. North Carolina native Jeanne Jolly has taken a long and varied road prior to the release of her debut full-length album, “Angels”, having resided in Boston, Los Angeles and of course, North Carolina. The result is a solid, warm and varied album that will satisfy virtually all who are fortunate enough to listen.

There is a little bit of jazz, a little bit of roots rock, and a whole lot of straight ahead country music. The opening track, “Angels of Hayward Street”, seemingly sets an early, dark tone for the album, but Jolly then takes us over to a beautiful love song with the second track “Sweet Love.” A class of lost souls has their story told on “Happy Days Cafe.” One of the best aspects of this album is that it’s tough to categorize, which makes it a perfect Americana record.

Trained in opera, Jolly really demonstrates her incredible diversity on several of the tracks on this album, but none more so than on “Tear Soup”, a story song about trying to get past total and complete heartbreak … to varying degrees of non-success. It takes a special talent to be able to weave in a classic country sound with opera, and Jolly pulls it off in spades. In fact, I would suspect this task has never been attempted before now…Jason Gartshore at Americana Review

 

Mississippi Heatmississippiheatsmall

8 pm Wednesday, August 14, 2013
MACHINERY ROW on the Patio

TRADITIONAL BLUES WITH A UNIQUE SOUND. . . As bandleader and composer, Pierre Lacocque’s vision has never wavered since he founded his band in 1991. His mantra is clear and focused. The band has always had an ensemble sound: all musicians are featured and welcome to contribute on stage and on recordings. His music is traditional because it is steeped in Chicago’s golden sounds of the 1950’s, Muddy Waters, Howlin’ Wolf, Jimmy Reed, Jimmy Rogers, all the great harp players. . . Big and Little Walter, The Sonny Boy Williamsons, Junior Wells, George Smith, and many extraordinary contemporaries such as Kim Wilson, Rod Piazza and Paul deLay. On the other hand, Pierre’s blues is unique because he dislikes to tread on old beaten paths. He always writes new stuff.

Drew Landry

Drew Landry’s catalog of music is rooted in cane fields of Southwest Louisiana & the Hill Country of South Texas. As a songwriter he is dynamic enough to write in any genre & his live show is a mix of folk, swamp blues, country, and southern rock.

Landry landed his first gig as a roadie on a Scott Biram/Hank III tour. Since Williams asked Landry to open that show he’s shared the stage with Billy Joe Shaver, Justin Townes Earle, Shannon McNally, The Angola State Prison Band, Lazy Lester, David Allen Coe, Charlie Louvin, Dwight Yoakam, Merle Haggard, Doug Kershaw, Johnny Winter and countless others.

Drew Landry doesn’t often brag about how Kris Kristofferson called him the best songwriter he’s heard in 30 years. Landry impressed the legend by playing him his “Last Man Standin” backstage at a concert. Afterwards, Kristofferson called him out, repeating his praise to the crowd. – Nick Pittman, Off Beat

Landry’s first album Keep What’s Left was called “The Equivalent to Lomax’s field recordings for the 21st Century “, by Pete Gow at AmericanaUK. The Oxford American proclaiming his,”coon-ass romps simultaneously extend & rebut the music of his native Southwest Louisiana in the same way the Pogues blasted through the greensward pieties of traditional Irish music.”, the young songwriter quickly made a name for himself & began touring.

Landry’s second release, The Tailgaten Relief & Hurricane Companion EP was the songwriter’s response to the Hurricanes that forever changed the landscape of South Louisiana. The album charted in Europe and received critical acclaim in the States. This time Landry was featured by HOB’s “One’s to Watch”, and songs from the album were used in various films & presentations about the storms.

In 2010, Landry put out the BP Blues w/ Warner Brothers & recorded the Deepwater Memorial EP a year later with Dr. John & many other Gulf Coast Artists. He remains a voice for fishermen, clean-up workers, and children dealing with issues from the use of toxic chemicals to clean the oil spill.

The third album, Sharecropper’s Whine charted in Europe for several months in 2012, was featured by Lonestar music, Radio Free Texas, has been used in political speeches, films, and features some of the Legends of Cajun, Zydeco, & Swamp Blues. Here’s a yearly progression of Landry’s work. He’s played premier venues, dives, & festivals around the World & has the ability to move a crowd alone with a guitar or with a full band.

Peter Karp and Sue Foley

8 pm Wednesday, July 17, 2013
THE HIDEOUT LOUNGE

Gifted singer-songwriter, guitarist, pianist and American troubadour, Peter Karp, is a master songsmith with an art for spinning true-to-life emotions, humor, and candor. With an upbringing that was equal parts southern Alabama and the swamps of New Jersey, Karp¹s music is fueled bythe Yankee-Rebel juxtaposition. He first caught national attention with help from Rolling Stone guitarist Mick Taylor who recorded and toured with Karp on his first label release “The Turning Point.” Karp further established himself on the national scene as a critically acclaimed songwriter, and accomplished guitarist and pianist with the release of his Blind Pig debut entitled “Shadows and Cracks.” On the road across the U.S. and Canada, Karp repeatedly transfixes his live audiences. Critics compare his songwriting to John Hiatt and John Prine, with impressive guitar and slide licks infused by his love of Freddie King and Elmore James. Peter Karp personifies the amorphous Americana sound,seamlessly blending blues and roots music with a high sense of entertainment.

Sue Foley is considered to be one of the finest blues and roots artists working today. Born to a working class family, Sue spent her early childhood moving from Canadian town to town with her mother. At sixteen, she embarked on her professional career. By twenty-one, she was living in Austin TX and recording for the legendary blues label, Antone¹s Records. Her first release, “Young Girl Blues,” quickly established her unique talents as a blues guitarist and songwriter. Throughout the 90¹s she took to the road with her paisley Telecaster and honed her craft, working and sharing the stage with such artists as BB King, Buddy Guy, Lucinda Williams and Tom Petty. After moving back to Canada, Sue won the prestigious Juno Award for her critically acclaimed CD “Love Coming Down” as well as seventeen Maple Blues Awards.

Peter Karp & Sue Foley Videos:

John Nemeth

Nikki Hill

7 pm Friday, July 12, 2013
THE HIDEOUT LOUNGE

John Németh continues to reinvigorate vintage rhythm and blues with his ability to skillfully blend retro and modern Blues and soul into compelling music that is simultaneously old and new. He was announced as the winner of the 2010 Living Blues Award for “Most Outstanding Blues Singer.”

Chuck Mead & His Grassy Knoll Boys

8 pm Friday, June 28, 2013
THE HIDEOUT LOUNGE
2401 12th Ave S
Great Falls, MT
Tickets: $22 day of show

After leading several popular ‘80s cult bands in and around his hometown of Lawrence, Kansas, Chuck Mead landed on Nashville’s Lower Broadway where he co-founded the famed ‘90s Alternative Country quintet BR549. The band’s seven albums, three Grammy nominations and the Country Music Association Award for Best Overseas Touring Act would build an indelible bridge between authentic American Roots music and millions of fans worldwide. With BR on hiatus, Chuck formed The Hillbilly All-Stars featuring members of The Mavericks, co-produced popular tribute albums to Johnny Cash and Waylon Jennings, guest-lectured at Vanderbilt University, and became a staff writer at one of Nashville’s top song publishers. In 2009, he released his acclaimed solo debut album, Journeyman’s Wager, and toured clubs, concert halls and international Rock, Country and Rockabilly festivals with his band The Grassy Knoll Boys.

Chuck Mead Videos:

Phil Lee

Sunday, June 16, 2013
House Party – Annual Rootboy Picnic
Email Us for More Info or call 868-0997
Everyone Welcome!

Phil Lee writes intelligent songs full of wit, humor and grace that blend sizzling Dylan-esque rock and roll, country and western, mid-sixties British Invasion and medicine show sounds that end up being utterly unique and sung in a voice that can shoot straight through to your heart.

Spend an Intimate Evening with the Mighty King of Love — Phil Lee — one man, one guitar and a bag of great songs about love and death, misplaced faith, discarded spaceships, hard times and the funny side of all that. Guaranteed to please!

Phil Lee “combines the social consciousness of Woody Guthrie with the twisted fury of Jerry Lee Lewis.” — Associated Press

“Phil spills out song after brilliant song . . . his voice a reedy twin to Dylan, his storylines etching the best and worst of people living five days ahead of flat broke. He’s the most clever lyricist to ever come out of Nashville.” Keth Harrelson, Moonlight on the Mountain — Birmingham, AL

“The Don Rickles of disenfranchised nashtwang strikes again…Lee presents himself as a lovable, if formerly dangerous, rapscallion. Skirting genre boundaries between rock, soul and country with his music and writing lyrics that knock right through walls of taste, decency and political correctness without ever landing him in a punk-rockish, spittin’ for show camp.” — Peter Copper, Nashville Tenessean

Phil Lee Videos:

 

Ryan Bingham

7 pm Thursday, May 30, 2013
RUMORS at the New Skyline

Opening Act: The Wild Feathers 

Tomorrowland, the title of Ryan Bingham’s new album, sounds futuristic, but the Oscarwinning singer/songwriter hints, “Maybe it’s not so much about looking ahead as it is about leaving things behind.”

“There are no more rules,” he continues. Recording Tomorrowland for his own Axster Bingham Records felt “totally liberating,” he says, and allowed him the freedom to “do whatever we want and not have someone else’s agenda on it.”

Tomorrowland contains plenty of the pliant acoustic guitar work that has marked Bingham’s previous studio sets, but Tomorrowland expands his musical landscape exponentially: Guitars howl into keyboards and drums stomp against strings, all bolstered by Bingham’s jagged, weather-beaten vocals.

Despite his assertion that “I always try to be hopeful,” Bingham’s songs remain full of dark, often mysterious, places where light struggles to get in. On the bracing, haunting “No Help From God,” he sings in a world-weary rasp, “Some say that angels are all looking down/I only saw vultures circling around.”

Bingham recorded Tomorrowland at a makeshift studio in a friend’s empty house in Malibu, Calif. that turned out to have an interesting heritage: it once belonged to Kris Kristofferson, one of his musical heroes. “I thought, who knows what you’re going to find in these walls’,” Bingham laughs.

Bingham and co-producer Justin Stanley (Eric Clapton, Sheryl Crow) brought in a soundboard and microphones and set up the drums right in the middle of the highceiling room. They recruited in a small core of musicians to play on the album as needed.

“That’s what was so nice about the record: we weren’t on a time line or in crunch time,” Bingham says. “ I really tried to distance myself from any of that. I was like ‘I’m in a house, I’m not spending a lot of money. I can take all the time I need and really get it right.’”

And Bingham is the first to admit that after the rush of the last few years, he needed to slow the pace.

The Oscar, Golden Globe, and Grammy wins for his song “The Weary Kind” from 2009’s movie “Crazy Heart” caused a wonderful commotion that was at times humbling and overwhelming to Bingham, who was named the Americana Music Association’s 2010 artist of the year.

Awna Teixeira

7 pm Thursday, May 16, 2013
RUMORS at the New Skyline

Awna kicks off the evening and our Summer season on her first solo tour, which brings together the incredible collection of songs on her album “Where The Darkness Goes.” If you saw Po’ Girl when they were here, you know this a show not to miss! It is safe to say there is no one else quite like Awna, with her quirky take on roots music that combines high lonesome ‘hillbilly’ music with folk and probably more than a nod to her Portuguese roots, the only addition that can really explain this unique rootsy amalgamate of beautiful sounds.

“Awna Teixeira is best known as being one quarter of Roots stars Po’ Girl who have toured the World many times in the last 8 years winning fans and accolades at every stop. The band decided to take a break in 2011 with Allison Russell touring and recording with Jeremy Lindsay from JT & the Clouds and Awna Teixeira holing up in a Chicago studio in March and April of this year with a bunch of musicians and Engineer Zach Goheen.The results are astounding and way beyond what anyone could have expected; including the singer herself. I’ll go as far as to say…….. WHERE THE DARKNESS GOES is the album that Nanci Griffith and Dolly Parton have both been trying to produce for several years and Awna Teixeira has taken the first steps on the ladder to emulate their success.” – No Depression

The Steepwater Band

Saturday, February 23, 2013: 7:30 pm
Machinery Row

“ONE OF THE BEST ROCK ALBUMS TO HIT IN 2011… Nothing’s too gussied up so the honest grit and sweat of rock ‘n’ roll comes through loud and clear, and behind everything a crossroads right blues soul howls. Clava continues the group’s evolution by simply refining every promising aspect this taut trio has exhibited in the past. If you’re charged up by what The Black Keys or Black Crowes are putting down lately, there’s little doubt Clava will flip your wig big time.” ~ Jambase.com

The Steepwater Band’s latest studio release, “CLAVA” (pronounced CLAY-va) finds the band hitting their most creative and focused point of their careers. The new album was recorded on the South Side

of Chicago at the studio of the same name in Spring of 2011. CLAVA was produced and recorded by the trio of Bowers, Massey & Winters along with Colin Sipos, a young, up-and-coming producer/engineer who has worked with the critically acclaimed Iron & Wine and Califone. Sipos also recorded TSB’s “The Stars Look Tonight/My Back Pocket (2010)” single and mixed “Live at

the Double Door (2010

).” The ten new songs feature some of their most blues-infused, heavy and psychedelic tunes to date. Each song takes you on a musical journey, steeped in tradition, while not being overly nostalgic. On “CLAVA” the band honors their heroes and pays them the highest compliment – continuing the Rock n’ Roll lineage while creating paths not yet explored.

Davina and the Vagabonds

Friday, January 25, 2013 8 pm
Machinery Row

“From the churning emotion of Billie Holiday to Amy Winehouse by way of Etta James!” –Newcastle Evening Chroniclwe (UK), Alan Nichol / Sept 2011

Davina and The Vagabonds are known in The Twin Cities, Minnesota as being the busiest band in town because of their hard-working professionalism, high energy stage performance, and original sound.

DATV average over 300 performance dates a year, trying to share their music with the world.


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